More Tips in Finding a Good Dentist

By: Sharon Bell
Sometimes finding a good dentist can be difficult, especially in a world that's full of quacks and unlicensed practitioners. To guide you in your search, here are more practical tips from Dr. Alfred I. Winkler, a dental surgeon in New York City:

A good dentist will never allow a patient to walk out of the office with a jagged tooth or a rough surface - whether it is preexisting or due to his or her own treatment.

He or she will do everything humanely possible to avoid extracting a tooth. A good dentist considers an extraction similar to an amputation; he or she feels every tooth is vital.

Although the dentist's main concern is the health of the patient's teeth, he or she will not overlook the cosmetic needs of the patient.

His or her office is always clean and he or she is careful in sterilizing all instruments.

He or she will rarely ever remove a child's tooth, even a baby tooth that will eventually fall out naturally, because of the importance of maintaining the dental arch. If he or she is nevertheless obliged to remove the tooth, a space maintainer should be inserted in its place.

A good dentist will be concerned with the fluoridation of drinking water. If fluorine is not available in the drinking supply, he or she will see to it that patients receive some form of fluoridation treatment.

He or she always provides a substitute when away so patients can always receive emergency help.

A good dentist has all the latest tools but will never subject his patients to over-dentis?try.

He or she knows all about X-ray. He or she has a new model X-ray machine in the office that delivers only a frac?tion of the radiation.

He or she knows how many rads each tooth X-ray will deliver into the patient, what the radiation exposure limits are, the lethal doses of radiation, and the dangers inherent in overdosage such as leukemia, genetic destruction, fertility deficit, and blood disease.

Lastly, he or she knows about the cumulative effects of X-rays and takes every precaution when using them.

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